Hoops Talk

This One Hurts

March 14th, 2014

There is no way to sugar-coat last night's overtime loss to UC Northridge in the first round of the Big West tournament. It was brutal.

UH came out flat and was down 16 points mud-way thru the first half. Northridge fought for every loose ball, ran the transition game at will, and it looked a lot last year's first half against Irvine. And then, just as poorly as it played the first 10-12 minutes, the Bows put on one of their most impressive performances of the year for the next 20. Their defense tightened, they made some threes, Stardhardinger slashed to the hoop at will (mostly getting fouled where he broke the UH single season record for made free throws), and it looked like the turn-around game of the year. Yes, after a decade of futility in the first round of League Championships (yes the UH men had won only once in ten years, against Idaho in Gib's second year), UH fell apart.

The Bows let a 13 point lead with under 8 minutes to play slip away. Was it the result of a decision to slow the game down and basically play two man basketball with Shamberger dribbling down the clock and looking for Fotu underneath?   Or having Shamburger take almost every shot down the stretch?( Standhardinger hardlly touched the ball in OT). Was it the result of an ill-advised planned foul with 17 seconds left in the overtime with UH up by three. I think it was prudent to foul, but not with so many seconds left on the clock. Was it the result of not having any time-outs left when UH took the ball out after Northridge made those two three throws causing the ball to go to Shamburger inches from the endline leading to a turnover. Was it Nevels fouling out? Was it Issaac capping off a poor game ( it was clear Northridge decided pre-game not to let Issaac beat them with swarming double teams every time he touched the ball) with a very ill-advised offense foul in the last 10 seconds on a moving screen? I could go on and on with the what-ifs.

The bottom line is UH let a game they had won slip away against an opponent lower-ranked and in a game where they were 6 point favorites. And this one will linger. It is fair to discuss whether this team accomplished its goals in year four of the Gib era. Yes, they had 20 wins, but is a 4th place finish in the Big West and another first round loss in the Tournament is not what they and we expected.

So now the talk begins of playing in one of those buy-in tournaments. My opinion. Let the season be over. Both financially and competitively, it’s time to let the goal of playing in a second rate post season event be a thing of the past. Do we really care if UH plays in the Riley Wallace Invitational. I know the team probably does. But what about the fans, only 3000 of which came out for last year's opening home game. I guess I just think it’s time to begin to think about next season. And there is much work to be done. Standhardinger, the heart of this year's team leaves, as does the soul, Brandon Spearman. Losing these two critical pieces will not be easy to replace. Maybe the next week or two would be better spent on the road recruiting.

One final thought. This team played hard all year. They never gave up. They were exciting to watch. Did they achieve their goals? No, but they certainly gave all us something to cheer for. Aloha guys.

Jeff Portnoy is a member of the UH Board of Regents. The views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of the board.

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “This One Hurts”

  1. hoosier:

    Tough loss. Played hard but, once again, only in spurts. No buy in tourney, PLEASE!! Go workon your games ands be ready to play 40 minutes. Next step is top of conference. No excuses. Still just young college students so mahalo for the thrills this season. So now Bows and Hoosiers done for the year. Both teams need to hit recruiting trail hard.

  2. Papashamgo:

    Unacceptable. Two tournaments in a row. This program is in mediocrity for past seven yrs. we have done no better than fifth place in tournament. No nit in four years. No big west champion in regular season or WAC for that matter under Gib. Highest paid coach but results are not there. Game time coaching especially last night killed our season. It's in him. He should take responsibility for the Akana Mess. Time to change Ben jay.

  3. Balut:

    Time for a change Four years and we end up fifth place in a bad conference. Coach blew the game with six min. Left by slowing down and completely taking team out if sync. Very disappointing season.

  4. poorboy:

    Well Laura Beeman and girls are done too. No NCAA for WBB team. Both men and women not in the Big Dance.
    Tough losses for both teams.

  5. Lowtone123:

    Let the season be over with. Like last season, the disappointment from being one and done is so heavy that many, like myself will be moving on.

  6. poorboy:

    To the Gib Arnold questioners:
    Where was the MBB program before he took over. Mired in a 3 year losing season run. And a lack of interest in program for few years before that. Now Gib and great team, and young people have interest of several thousand. Gib will have his team up and running, and with great effort, one more year's experience will be on top of the BWC next year. This team, coming back , and the recruits, will be one of the top teams in the West next season. Negus, Stefan Jankovich, Isaac Fleming, possible recruits to shore up frontline, and most importantly, besides an All Region, and BWC first teamer in Isaac Fotu, 3 of the top guards on team returning, Shamburger, Smith and Nevels, whom I think will have great Senior and Junior seasons without question. The HEART of this team, put together by Gib is HUGE. They will get it done. 72 total wins in 4 seasons and counting is pretty good. Better than another UH sport, so far!

  7. capt_comment:

    #6: "Better than another UH sport, so far!"
    To that inane comment I reply, "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king!"

  8. FREE:

    Agree with you POORBOY

  9. paul:

    i like gib, but his decision-making in the final minutes and in overtime makes me think he needs to focus on coaching the team on closing strategies and not to blow double-digit leads. if i was recruited by him and by the way, he does a great job in that, i would be concerned on how he coaches to win rather than survive from losing. we lost too many this season that we should've won and this game was the ultimate wake-up call to gib that he needs to learn to close the deal, not just by his recruiting practices, but by winning through his coaching.

  10. Balut:

    Four years. Highest loans coach in the big west conference. Crucial mistakes in close games cost us. Our players played their butts off and you know what we should have won those games and Thursday nights playoff game with better strategy at the closing minutes of regulation. Time and time again the weakness if Gib shows on his in game play calls. It us time for a change poor boy The crowd stood stunned after this loss. This was the lowest point for our program. Hands down. Aloha.

  11. K-Bay:

    Some Nice Drama-Queen Talk...BUT

    NOT Even Close to "The Low or Lowest Point"

    Low Points Were Previous Decade where:

    Most Players and Opponents did not Consider UH 'to even have a Legit 'Chance' Before the Game even Started; Once the 'Team' was Down (By Six much less 16) The Game was Essentially Over;
    Many Games were over By Half-Time;
    Losing More OR A Lot More than they Win,
    Ending the Season on 5 or 7 Game Losing Streaks [How 'Bout Losing 13 0f Last 15?]
    Consistently, Badly, Out-Coached

    NOT that You Ingratiates would Know or Understand
    But Winners Celebrate their Wins
    Learn from their Mistakes and Losses
    And Fight and Continue to Get Better

    Your Tirades are Criticizing the Winningest Coach in 60 UH Years
    AS IF Ben Jay Can Afford to BUY a Better Coach
    Yes, Improvement IS Needed
    And THIS Staff is MOST Likely to Get It
    NOT Your Ludicrous Suggestions to Throw The Baby Out With the Bath Water

    Yes, Disappointing...yet
    This IS A Work in Progress
    This is a Young Staff and Developing Program with Young Players
    Yet, Pretty Consistently Developing,
    In The MIDDLE of The Pacific OCEAN
    Near-Zero D-1 Backyard Talent
    ZERO Nearby Neighborhoods and Opponents
    Count And Appreciate Your Blessings

    OR Continue Pretending to Cheer for other D-1 Teams 2 to 4,000 Miles Away...

  12. Sickman Fraud:

    A very mediocre "20 wins"team. Until Coach Arnold commits to improving his game with as much drive as he has with recruiting, the Warriors will continue to disappoint.

  13. Hanapepe:

    You all got to realize, Gib is on the job training. He is not the coach that all of us NEED! Can we get a better one????? Jim D gave him a sweetheart pkg. Hope Ben J. knows better. To be the 2nd highest paid coach in the conference is not reasonable. Am sure UH can do better.

  14. hoosier:

    20 wins gives Gib another year so let's see what happens next year. UH Hilo and Chaminade as exhibitions only! Toughen up the schedule. Big hole to fill with Standhardinger fone butthat means everyone needs to step up their game to replace him. Another year of improvement for Valdez, Thomas,Nevels, abd all should set up to look good on paper. Gib needs to step up too and respond to double teams of Fotu with a design that get him open. Painful now but I expect even better things next season. Five years in should produce a conference championship. Set the bar high. Then get after it.

  15. bowforlife:

    I disagree the season should be over. I'm sure the players would love to continue and the fans should be out there supporting them. If you've ever played a competitive sport, who wouldn't want to play in the post-season? I'd be embarrassed for the players if they ever stumbled across the comments in this blog. I live in Nebraska and the big game in town is Creighton. They pack the house every night and have done so for years...even before their recent breakthrough into the "big time". Conversely, the University of Nebraska is the "little sister" on the hard wood, but even when they were 11-10, crowds of ~15,000 were showing up to watch them play. They haven't been to the NCAA Tournament in 15 years, but the fans come out to support them anyway. I saw UH stand up toe-to-toe with Missouri this year and pull out some nice victories. They don't deserve to be in the NCAA Tourney, but are an energetic and exciting team that I believe should have the opportunity to play somewhere next week. The team didn't go 31-0 this year...bad on them...let's give them some credit and support!

  16. Warrior Dave:

    Some if you think that coaches like Coach K and Roy Williams and lining up to coach for Hawaii. Get real please????

    We were fortunate to get a young Assistant Coach like Gib to come here. He is laying the foundation with recruits and also learning to be a HC along the way. There will be recruiting and coaching mistakes along the way. But the foundation for an on-going successful program is being laid. Support the boys and team by buying a ticket and cheer them on. Don't be Monday morning Trolls.

  17. clyde:

    The attorney/regent/blogger just threw two student-athletes (Shamburger and Fotu) under the bus. Shame on him. Imagine what damage they could do if they chose to criticize the attorney/regent/blogger's syntax and spelling? Criticize the coach or coaching in a public forum is fair game, but to do that to student-athletes who busted their okole in the game and throughout the season?

  18. hoosier:

    No one threw anyone under the bus. Valid questions about strategy, play calls, execution. The TEAM fell short of the goal through inconsistent performance during this game. And TEAM includes coaches, trainers, players, redshirts, everyone. But as Jeff says, the effort is always there. Use the off season to hone those skills. Use the feeling from losing this game to motivate you for the next year. Go Bows!

  19. Manoa Mist:

    Gib Arnold cannot coach at the DI level. Get somebody else. Period. Or, be mired in mediocrity for the rest of your life. Do you go for the gold, or just and be happy with whatever happens?

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